The XFL is back. After the league was shut down during 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the XFL returned to the field this week under new ownership. The new iteration of the league is owned by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dany Garcia, and a RedBird Capital, who purchased the league from Vince McMahon for just $15M.
While the league might be back, its greatest tradition is not.
The DC Defenders’ beer snake.
Back in 2020 before the XFL suspended play due to COVID, the Defenders were 3-2, tied for first place in the XFL’s East Division. And Audi Field, where the Defenders played their homes games, was rocking for every contest. With the main feature of each game a feat of fan engineering.
The beer snake:
WE ARE DEALING WITH AN ALL-TIME BEER SNAKE FOLKS.— XFL (@XFL2023) March 8, 2020
THIS IS WHAT LEGENDS ARE MADE OF.
THIS IS THE XFL. pic.twitter.com/UYrDS7ut1I
Unfortunately, the beer snake has not made it to the new version of the XFL. The Defenders are back, but at their home opener tonight against the Seattle Sea Dragons, efforts to duplicate the beer snake days of glory were met by resistance from security:
The Beer Snake came back and then the security took it away again lmfao.— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 20, 2023
This is the XFL! pic.twitter.com/wkXqCJu0aT
The fans, however, revolted. And threw lemons on the field:
DC Defenders fans are throwing lemons on the field because their beer cup snake got taken away— MereKat (@MereKatKat) February 20, 2023
I love the XFL pic.twitter.com/z4UVlmKlYs
That’s right, lemons:
February 20, 2023
Following the lemons, the chants for “beer snake” rang throughout Audi Field, and #FreeTheSnake began to trend on social media:
#FreeTheSnake pic.twitter.com/BkOim3mg30— Steven Ruiz (@theStevenRuiz) February 20, 2023
ESPN’s Stormy Buonantony, working hte sideline for the ESPN broadcast of the game, went into the end zone to speak with the fans:
#FreeTheSnake @XFL2023 pic.twitter.com/ixEtd6eCno— alex (@highIightheaven) February 20, 2023
“But if you don’t give us beer snake, we’re gonna continue to give you lemons here.”
Just absolutely incredible.
Free the snake.